Fiddle Leaf Fig fans of the world, meet the new ficus who’s enjoying a rapid rise in popularity: ficus audrey!
Many people consider ficus audrey easier to care for than fiddles, so you can think of this as the beginner-friendly little sister of the fiddle leaf fig.
Ficus audrey tends to be more flexible with light and watering needs than our favorite ficus, so it’s a great tree to start with if you’re nervous about caring for indoor trees!
A Brief History of Ficus Audrey
Ficus audrey is also known as the begnal fig or banyan tree, which is the national tree of India. It is said that the Buddha sat under a banyan tree while he achieved enlightenment.
This tree actually starts out as an epiphyte, which is a plant that grows on another plant while its seeds germinate in crevices on the host plant.
Unlike most ficuses, this tree also puts out aerial roots that grow downward and back into the ground, giving it this powerful, multi-trunked look.
Isn’t that incredible?!
As you can see, these trees can be massive outside, with an expansive canopy that can reach up to 100 feet wide.
Lucky for us, they also grow well in pots, they’re easy to prune, and they reach up to about ten feet indoors. Much more manageable than the beasts you’d find in the wild!
As a houseplant, ficus audrey looks like a cross between a fiddle leaf fig and a rubber tree, with large, oblong, deep green leaves with a bit of a fuzzy texture. Beautiful!
How to Care for Ficus Audrey
If you’ve already grown a fiddle leaf fig, good news! You’re well equipped to care for ficus audrey, as many of the same rules apply.
Choose a pot with drainage holes that’s 2-4 inches wider than the root ball of your ficus audrey. Use a soil that drains well to prevent overwatering.
Repot every year or two as needed.
Like fiddles, ficus audrey likes bright, indirect sunlight, though they do better with filtered sunlight than fiddles. A bright window with a sheer curtain should work just fine, or you can plunk it right down in an east-facing window.
Like the fiddle leaf fig, ficus audrey likes fairy moist soil, but not too much water. As a rule of thumb, water when the top 2-3 inches dries out (about a full index finger length down if you have average-sized hands).
Add water to the soil until it just starts to drain out the bottom of the pot. Don’t water again until the top 2-3 inches dry out. If it takes longer than 7-10 days for this to happen, add less water when it IS time to water.
Watch for signs of watering problems:
Dark spots on the leaves = overwatering
Yellowing leaves, crispy spots = underwatering
Watch out for the usual suspects including scale, mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites.
Read The Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Insect Problems. What works for fiddles in this area also works for audreys!
Temperature and Humidity
Ficus audrey is a tropical plant, so it loves heat and humidity! Keep temperatures above 70 degrees fahrenheit if possible, and avoid exposing it to temperatures below 60 degrees fahrenheit.
Keep your ficus audrey well away from drafts from vents, doors, and windows.
Your ficus audrey may want a little more humidity than what is naturally present in your home, so it’s a good idea to set up a humidifier in the room or place your plant on a pebble tray.
These plants can grow quickly, so you may need to prune it in the winter to maintain its size. Use clear shears or scissors, and wear gloves! The sap can irritate your skin, and you may want to use a rag or put down plastic to catch dripping sap.
Unlike the fiddle, this tree actually puts out aerial roots that reach down to the soil, which creates a multi-trunked appearance. You might not want this for an indoor tree though, so you can always trim back those aerial roots.
Use a 3-1-2 liquid fertilizer spring-fall for the growing season. In fact, you can use your usual Fiddle Leaf Fig Food on your ficus audrey as well!
Ficus Audrey: The Perfect Addition to Your Collection
Whether you’re a seasoned houseplant owner or just starting to dip your toes into the world of indoor trees, ficus audrey is an excellent choice! This beautiful tree is relatively easy to care for and makes a big statement in your home.
It looks gorgeous on its own as a statement piece or as a companion to your fiddle leaf fig!
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